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South Sudan: UNHCR Position on returns to South Sudan – Update II

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: South Sudan

April 2019

  1. This position supersedes and replaces UNHCR’s April 2015 Position on Returns to South Sudan – Update I

Introduction

  1. Since the signature of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on 11 September 2018,

the permanent ceasefire is being upheld in most parts of the country and there is a marked reduction in violence.
Nevertheless, conflict remains and egregious human rights violations continue to be perpetrated by parties to the conflict with near complete impunity.
While Chapter III of the R-ARCSS contains provisions upholding the right of return and prioritizing reintegration during the transitional period, sustainable conditions are not in place for the safe and dignified return of refugees and IDPs in South Sudan.

  1. The humanitarian situation in South Sudan has also not seen any marked improvement and remains dire.
    Internal and external displacement continues. The Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda host a total of 2.28 million refugees from South Sudan. In addition, South Sudan is host to some 300,000 refugees from Sudan and other countries and there are some 1.87 internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside South Sudan, bringing the total number of persons of concern to UNHCR to 4.45 million people.

  2. There are reports of occasional returns of IDPs to their areas of origin or habitual residence; similarly, as of February 2019, there are reports of over 142,000 South Sudanese refugees having returned spontaneously, mostly to areas hosting IDPs. The return may be of a temporary nature, with some spontaneous returnees living in an IDP-like situation.

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